With the rest of the pack following closely and grinning with anticipation, the little red-haired girl stepped up boldly, looked me over briefly, and then stared intently into my face. I stared at my feet for a moment, bracing for rejection and humiliation, and then I swallowed hard and returned her gaze. “ Dance? ” she asked enthusiastically, and then offered a soft, thin, freckled hand. My head was swimming, my heart pounded, and I was dangerously light-headed from holding my breath! I grabbed her hand, we took our place in a newly formed square, bowed to our partner, and the fiddle began to play. That little red-headed temptress whizzed tirelessly and elegantly around the room, frock flying and pigtails trailing, and I galloped happily at her side like a gangly pup, thoroughly enraptured, in a state of perfect bliss. We alabamed right and alabamed left and dosiedoed around that barn for the better part of an hour, and all at once I became aware that my poor feet were throbbing madly in those new boots, and several of my toes were clearly in tremendous distress!
Just then the little red-haired girl turned hard a starboard, and we promenaded through the back door of that ol’ barn and out into the dark emptiness of the dimly moonlit corral beyond. A thousand breathtaking possibilities flooded my mind and weakened both my knees. And then, as I wrapped my arms around that warm, moist, gingham-clad form, and her sweet, cider-scented breath filled my nostrils, a milking stool came down on my head and the darkness took me in and swallowed me up!